Bombay Beach

Direction
Year 
2011
Country
  • United States
Runtime
76min 
Audio Tracks 
Subtitles 

The rusting relic of a failed 1950s development scheme, the Salton Sea is a barren California landscape often seen as a symbol of the failed American Dream. First-time director Alma Har'el visits this poetically fruitful terrain and finds there a motley cast, including a bipolar seven-year-old, a lovelorn high school football star, and an octogenarian poet-prophet. Together they make up a triptych of manhood in its decisive moments, populating the Salton Sea's land of thwarted opportunity.

True to her roots as a photographer, video artist, and music video director, Har'el crafts an adamantly atypical and artistically innovative film—a dreamlike poem that sets the personal stories of these distinctive yet familiar characters to a stylized amalgam of observational documentary and choreographed dance, with music by Beirut and Bob Dylan, all cast against the atmospheric scenery of the titular ghost town. The result is a moving and extraordinary documentary experience—an evocative, symbolic portrait of those who live in cultural obscurity.

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Details

  • Original Title
    Bombay Beach
  • Direction
  • Cinematography
    Alma Har'el
  • Editing
    Alma Har'el, Joe Lindquist
  • Music
    Zach Condon, Bob Dylan
  • Runtime
    76 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
    2011
  • Country
    • United States
  • Format
    • Colour
  • Festivals
    • Berlinale Int. Film Festival (Panorama Section)
    • Tribeca Int. Film Festival
    • DocVille Belgium
    • Sheffield Doc/Fest
    • Edinburgh Int. Film Festival
    • Guanajuato Int. Film Festival
    • DocFest Kosovo
    • SanFic Santiago Film Festival
    • Filmmaker Magazine 25 Faces Film Festival
    • Sausalito Film Festival
    • Hamptons Film Festival, Summer Doc Series
    • Woodstock Film Festival
    • DMZ Docs, Korea
    • Vancouver Int. Film Festival
    • Palo Alto Films Festival
    • Camden Film Festival
    • JAX Jacksonville Film Festival (Oct)
    • Falhertiana Documentary Film Festival (Oct)
    • Bergen Film Festival (Oct)
    • Santa Fe Int. Film Festival (Oct)
    • CPH:DOX!
  • Awards
    • Best World Documentary: Tribeca Film Festival
    • Special Jury Mention: Sheffield Doc/Fest
    • Best Documentary: Guanajuato Film Festival
    • Special Jury Award: DMZ Docs
    • Best Editing Award: Woodstock Film Festival
    • Emerging Cinematic Vision Award: Camden Film Festival

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